(1869-1959) was born in Germany and spent his early years at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts where, in 1894, he attended a course in animal drawing and developed a love for animal subjects. This led him to teach himself animal anatomy. Traveling to the United States in 1884, Rungius spent that first summer on Long Island drawing birds and insects from nature. In 1910 he discovered the Canadian Rockies which had a lasting effect on his painting, and for the remainder of his life he alternated between summers in Banff and winters in New York City. During the 1890's Rungius was a respected illustrator for various sporting magazines. His early paintings and illustrations focused on the theme of animals engaged in combat, portraying the agony of defeat, or the heroic stance.
Rungius was a member of the Salamagundi and Boone and Crockett clubs. The trustees of the New York Zoological Society accumulated a large collection of his paintings and later through a private fund of $250.00 a year, the artist was commissioned to produce one large painting a year. He was also commissioned to paint the scenic backgrounds in the outdoor cages of the Bronx Zoo.